May 23rd, 2016

How to Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media

by sage island

At this point we all know the value of using social media as part of your business’s digital marketing strategy. It’s a way to increase brand awareness, boost website traffic, and most importantly connect and establish trust with current and potential clients. Actively engaging with your clients allows you to share the human side of your brand and receive their support in return.

So what happens when a fan leaves a negative comment? It’s upsetting, especially when you spent so much time trying to entertain and inform your audience about your products and services! When those efforts go unappreciated, it may feel like the end of the world.

According to Retail Consumer Report from RightNow Technologies, only 68% of customers that post negative feedback on a social network received a reply back from a brand. Don’t ignore those comments in hopes they’ll disappear! Look at their feedback as a tool that can be used to transform them into loyal customers. Turn bad experiences into positive ones with these tips:

Always respond to users.

As a professional company, it is your responsibility to reply to questions or comments. You wouldn’t ignore someone’s complaint if they were right in front of you, would you? That’s not acceptable in person and not on social media either. Show you care about your audience by responding in a positive manner. Offer an apology AND a solution. This is your opportunity to turn a bad situation around and transform an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one.

There are a few exceptions to responding to negative feedback. If any comments include profanity, spam, or are randomly attacking your brand without making sense, you have the option to remove the comment or not replying at all.

Go beyond “I’m sorry.”

Responding to a negative comment with a general “we’re sorry about your experience” without providing any additional information isn’t helping anyone. This is especially true if your replies to all incoming complaints are the same general response. You’re doing nothing to solve your users’ problems. Always look for and offer solutions that will satisfy your unhappy customers.

Consider a private conversation.

Sometimes a conversation between you and an unhappy user isn’t meant to remain in the public eye. You might need to exchange multiple messages back and forth, which can clog up your social platform feeds. Reply to a user’s message, publicly acknowledge their problem, and then suggest continuing the conversation privately through direct messaging. If a follower is not being cooperative about continuing to speak privately, show that you’re doing all you can to resolve their problem in a careful public conversation.

On occasion, ban or block them. 

You may run into situations where a follower’s negativity doesn’t stop and causes nothing but trouble. Don’t feel guilty about banning or blocking them in these circumstances, especially if they’re using profanity, racial slurs, and aggression. Friends of banned commenters may still be able to see what they post, but new page followers usually won’t.

Get your online community involved.

If you consistently engage with your followers by responding and showing support, they’ll become more active on your social pages and pay closer attention to what others have to say about your brand. You might see your fans helping each other out by answering pending questions or comments before you have the chance. If they provide a solution to another follower, great! But remember to follow up with that person even if they’ve been helped. Ask if there’s any further assistance you can provide and thank your helpful follower for speaking up on your behalf.

Don’t stop sharing with your followers. 

Don’t let one bad review set the opinion of what users should expect from your brand. Keep your social pages fresh with new and informational posts about what you’re up to, plus any positive reviews, client stories, and rewards your brand has received in the past. Those types of updates really paint an overall picture of what your business is about.

Social media is a place to grow and connect with your audience, through the good and the bad. Respect what your audience has to say and I guarantee you’ll build a strong group of followers. Remember: Acknowledge. Respond. Resolve. Repeat. If you’ve having trouble responding to followers, or aren’t sure how to reply, contact Sage Island. Our social media specialists know how to address negative comments to ensure your followers continue to be happy, supportive customers.

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